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CUPE Local 4914 refusal to work with provincially appointed mediator prolongs strike

NEWS RELEASE

For immediate release
November 24, 2016

Throughout the 10 week strike between Peel CAS and CUPE Local 4914 Peel CAS has remained committed to reaching a collective agreement that is fair to our unionized staff and recognizes the reality of limited funding.

“During the past two negotiation sessions Peel CAS worked hard to improve the offer to employees and accepted many proposals put forward by the union bargaining committee,” says Rav Bains, CEO, Peel CAS. The union bargaining committee did not reciprocate. “We were very disappointed when the union bargaining committee brought back issues that the agency understood to be resolved. This is not a way to end this strike.”

“Everyone wants this strike to be over and at the last negotiation on October 26 we were fortunate to have the assistance of one of the province’s top mediators,” says Bains. “It was the union who requested conciliation by the Ministry of Labour and the process has proved to be very useful to helping us resolve many issues.”  Most recently, the union reached out to the agency to meet but insisted on meeting without the involvement of the Ministry appointed mediator. “Based on what has happened at previous negotiations, we have to ask why the union would want to do that,” says Bains. “If they were serious about ending this strike they should welcome the assistance of someone trained to assist in what have become difficult negotiations.”

The union bargaining committee did at one point propose binding arbitration as a way to end the strike. “We want our staff who actually work at our agency to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions of their employment. Arbitration removes this opportunity and we feel strongly that staff deserve an opportunity to vote on their collective agreement,” adds Bains.

During the labour disruption Peel CAS continues to provide essential child protection services to the community.  “The care and safety of children and families we work with is our priority,” says Bains.   “We encourage our community to continue to call with child protection concerns. We will be prioritizing and responding to urgent situations to ensure the safety of children in Peel Region. We thank the public for their patience and understanding during the continuing labour disruption.”

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For further information contact:
Lucie Baistrocchi at 905-363-6131 ext. 1153
lbaistrocchi@peelcas.org.